Oil on oak panel: 99 x 78 cm.
Annotation right on the parquet panel: "EVANGELIUM / MATH. CAP. X "
Antique Berain frame, 17th century.
Pilate's wife is only mentioned in the Gospel according to Matthew, when Pilate asks the crowd whether Jesus or Barrabas should be released. The proceedings are suddenly interrupted: "While he was sitting on the platform, his wife said to him, 'Do not meddle in the affairs of this righteous man! For today I was tormented in a dream because of him." (Matthew 27:19). We do not know whether this intervention by Pilate's wife had any effect on her husband's attitude. At first, in any case, he didn't seem to take it into account, since he resumed the proceedings and finally gave in to the crowd, freeing Barrabas and handing Jesus over to be crucified. But as he washes his hands to proclaim his innocence, he may be thinking of his wife's message: "I am innocent of this blood. It's your business! (Matthew 27:24) His wife didn't want him to meddle in Jesus' business, and he is now discarding it by making it the crowd's business: "It's your business, it's no longer mine!"
Only the evangelist Matthew refers to Pontius Pilate's wife. She sends a message to her husband telling him that Jesus is a righteous man. But in the Acts of Pilate, an apocryphal gospel from the 4th century, the version is more detailed
This is an unusual subject for Martien de Vos, a Flemish Mannerist painter from the second half of the 16th century.
In this painting, we see the Venetian influence that was successfully integrated throughout the long career of Martin de Vos, one of the first Romanist painters.